Jun Tanaka's charred pepper and tomato salad with grilled ciabatta recipe
Says Jun: "This salad is my version of a classic Italian dish 'Panzanella', which basically means bread salad. Normally chunks of ciabatta are thrown in with the salad to soak up the juice from the tomatoes, which was a way of using up stale pieces of bread. I'm not a fan of soggy bread so in my version, the ciabatta is grilled and the salad is spooned on top, right at the last minute."
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
4 slices of ciabatta (½cm in thickness)
4 ripe plum tomatoes
2 yellow peppers
2 red peppers
1 clove of garlic
Sprig of thyme
8 anchovy fillets (preferably the ones in vinegar)
100g pitted black olives
30ml good quality red wine vinegar (Cabernet Sauvignon is my favourite)
100ml olive oil
½ bunch basil
1 tsp of caster sugar
- Fill a bowl large enough to fit all the peppers in with cold water. Place the peppers straight onto the naked flame of the gas, one on each ring. Blacken the skin all over, slowly turning the peppers using metal tongs for about 4-5 minutes. Place in the bowl of water.
- Rub the peppers with your hands to remove the blackened skin. Don't worry if there's some left, a small amount will add to the flavour. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and core, cut into strips lengthways, 1cm in thickness. Pour the olive oil in a frying pan and gently cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic clove, thyme and sugar, then season and cook for a further minute, before adding the vinegar and placing the peppers in a bowl.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil. Using a small knife, remove the eye of the tomatoes and criss-cross the opposite end. Plunge into the boiling water for 10 seconds, take out and put straight into iced water. Peel, quarter and deseed the tomatoes. Cut the quarters in half lengthways and add them to the peppers.
- Add the olives, capers, anchovies and torn basil. Mix well and pick out the garlic and thyme.
- Lightly oil the slices of ciabatta and place them on a hot griddle for 30 seconds on each side.
- To serve, place the ciabatta on a plate and spoon on the salad.
This recipe is taken from Simple To Sensational by Jun Tanaka, published by Simon & Schuster
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Dessert: Lisa Faulkner's quick-and-easy chocolate cake
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